Janine Jansen © Harald Hoffmann/Decca
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Janine Jansen © Harald Hoffmann/Decca
Symphony Concert 2
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra | Iván Fischer | Janine Jansen
“Mozart in Hungarian style” might be the title of this concert, with which the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will open its residency at the Easter Festival. The Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer will juxtapose two symphonies of the Viennese classicist with music by Béla Bartók, with results that are sure to be insightful. As a teacher and pianist, Bartók has moreover made a significant contribution to the modern understanding of Mozart, giving the lie to all those clichés about graceful rococo art. “Through Bartók, we were made acquainted with a new Mozart, the right one,” recalled his pupil Júlia Székely, describing the composer’s unsentimental style of Mozart playing, which could even sound dramatic, austere, and dark. By the same token, Iván Fischer will upend the prejudices that regard Bartók as a supposedly “brittle” composer and show his popular side in orchestral dances as well as the sumptuous First Violin Concerto. Fischer says that his enthusiasm for Bartók is by no means only the result of both of them hail from the same homeland: “I would also love his music if he came from Honolulu.”
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1949. As its first Chief Conductor, Eugen Jochum helped establish the Orchestra during his 11-year tenure and brought it international renown, especially through his Bruckner performances. Succeeding him was Rafael Kubelík (1961–79), who conducted the ensemble’s first Mahler cycle and expanded its repertoire to include works by Slavic composers as well as 20th-century music. Sir Colin Davis, an acclaimed Berlioz specialist, stood at the helm from 1983 to 1992 and proved to be an equally strong advocate for the Viennese Classical era as well as the works of British composers. Lorin Maazel held the reins from 1993 to 2002, leading complete cycles of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Schubert, and Mahler. Since October 2003, Mariss Jansons has held the position of Chief Conductor, playing a repertoire that ranges widely, from Haydn to Shostakovich and contemporary composers. Many renowned conductors have led the Orchestra, from Otto Klemperer and Karl Böhm through Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Leonard Bernstein to such leading figures of today as Herbert Blomstedt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Franz Welser-Möst, who are conducting the ensemble in the 2017-18 season. Each season, the BR Symphony premieres new works through its “musica viva” series and also performs on tour around the world. The musicians regularly travel to Asia and throughout the U.S. In 2017 they undertook two European tours, and in May 2018 they will perform in Riga, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Moscow. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has had an annual residency at Lucerne’s Easter Festival since 2004.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 28 August 1965 in a program of works by Bartók and Bruckner under Rafael Kubelík.
February 2018Other dates
Iván Fischer © Felix Broede
Iván Fischer, who was born in 1951 in Budapest to a family of musicians, studied piano, violin, cello, and composition in his native city before completing Hans Swarowsky’s conducting class in Vienna. After winning the Rupert Foundation Conductors’ Competition in London in 1976, Fischer launched his conducting career in Great Britain as a guest artist with the BBC and the London Symphony Orchestras, as Music Director of the Northern Sinfonia and later of Kent Opera. In 1983 he founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra, building an international reputation for the ensemble, to which he remains linked as Artistic Director. He has also served as General Music Director of the Opéra de Lyon and Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Since 2012 he has been Music Director of the Konzerthaus in Berlin and Chief Conductor of the Konzerthaus Orchestra. Fischer is a guest conductor of many of the world’s leading orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Several festivals owe their existence to his initiative, including a Baroque festival and the Mahler Festival in Budapest. Fischer has also proved to be a highly creative force in developing new concert formats. With the Budapest Festival Orchestra he has introduced the “Cocoa Concerts” for small children and the “Midnight Music” series for students; he also presents a series of “Surprise Concerts,” whose programs are unknown in advance, “One Forint Concerts” (the forint being the Hungarian unit of currency), and open-air performances which are enjoyed by tens of thousands of concertgoers. In 2006 Iván Fischer received the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious award, and in 2011 he garnered the Royal Philharmonic Society Award. His recordings have won the Diapason d’Or, the Gramophone Award, and the Erasmus Award.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 August 1986 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in works by Liszt as well as Schubert.
Janine Jansen © Marco Borggreve
17.30 | Introduction to the Concert (in German) with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium